Category Archives: Bookmark Theatre

DC Fontana bring 60s vibe to Bloxwich

The DC Fontana 2012 lineup - pic by Claire Curtis

The live music scene is looking up again in Bloxwich next month as Bookmark Theatre rings the changes with the return of those supreme exponents of Art & Soul and 1960s-inspired vibe – ‘DC Fontana’ – on Saturday 8th September.

This phenomenal band last lit up the stage of the town’s premier venue back in December 2011, and now they’re all set to blow the roof off the Elmore Row theatre again – this time with an exciting new line-up!

This truly fab 1960s-influenced Mod band will be presenting a superb mix of their own exceptional original music and tv and film-influenced sounds, with a 21st century edge!

Stuart Williams, Vice Chair of Bloxwich Library Forum, which manages Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre in partnership with Bloxwich Library, said:

“We’ve been looking forward to bringing DC Fontana back to the Bookmark ever since last Christmas, these guys are the real deal, they’ve got style and quality – and their own highly original music is easily up there with the best from the 1960s.

“I am delighted that they will be playing here on the 8th and I’m sure fans will be intrigued to see how the band has evolved since their change of line-up at the beginning of the year – now fronted by the wonderful Louise Turner. I’m sure they’ll be amazing!

This band is quite extraordinary, and simply not to be missed!  True Mod, forever fab and totally outta sight, you just have be there to see DC Fontana – or be square!

Doors open at 8.00pm for the show at 8.30pm and there will be a bar.  Tickets cost just £5 from Bloxwich Library – advance booking is recommended, telephone 01922 655900.

Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre, Bloxwich Library, Elmore Row, Bloxwich, Walsall, WS3 2HR.

For more on DC Fontana, check out their website:

Picture at top by Claire Curtis

Country legend George Hamilton IV to perform in Bloxwich!

George Hamilton IV

There can be few musical legends that span the generations like the man coming ‘real soon now’ to Bloxwich.

George Hamilton IV (pictured, above) is one of the top names in country and western music, an enduring talent with a genuinely international reputation.  And his highly acclaimed Country Gospel Show, which is all set to take place on Saturday 4th August 2012 at the Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre in Elmore Row as part of the Bookmark Bloxwich Live Music Review series of concerts, is surely not to be missed!

Stuart Williams, Vice Chairman of Bloxwich Library Forum, which manages the theatre in partnership with Bloxwich Library, said:

“I was absolutely amazed when Chuck Micallef, a talented Canadian Country singer-songwriter who has become a great friend of both the Forum and our unique local theatre, told me that he had persuaded the legendary George Hamilton IV to take the stage at Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre after travelling all the way from Nashville, Tenessee, USA.

“We are honoured and extremely excited to welcome Mr Hamilton, who is truly the Ambassador of Country Music.  Being one of the longest standing members of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, George Hamilton IV is a world-class international performer who has done extensive touring throughout his career, as well as having his own television shows in Canada on the CBC and ‘Folk Meets Country’ for the BBC in the UK.

“With hits like Abilene, Early Morning Rain, Canadian Pacific and Break My Mind, plus dozens more, George has a place deep in the hearts of country fans everywhere, and we can’t wait to meet him in person in little ‘ole Bloxwich!

Chuck Micallef
Chuck Micallef

“We’re also delighted that our own Chuck Micallef will be the special guest of Mr Hamilton as part of an amazing double bill for just £5 per ticket!”

Doors open on 4 August at 7.30pm for an 8pm start, and there is a bar.

Advance booking is highly recommended as this is bound to be a popular show.

Telephone Bloxwich Library on 01922 655900 to book right away, or drop into the library in Elmore Row to pick up a ticket for just a fiver now!

Diamond Jubilee continues in Bloxwich with Coronation film show

A Queen is Crowned Poster 1

Following the national Diamond Jubilee weekend, Bloxwich is continuing the celebration this coming Saturday as Blowich Library Forum joins forces with Bloxwich Library and Walsall Council to mark the historic event with a very special FREE film show open to all – plus free tea and cake!

On Saturday 9th June, library users are invited to ‘take tea with the Queen’ when the Forum will be showing a spectacular film of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II on the big screen in Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre, part of the Bookmark Bloxwich library complex in Elmore Row, Bloxwich.

The right Royal event kicks off at 1pm, when Bloxwich Library staff will be providing tea and cake in the café there as a prelude to the film itself, which starts at 2pm.

A Queen is Crowned Poster 2

Stuart Williams of Bloxwich Library Forum, the voluntary group which manages the theatre in partnership with Bloxwich Library, said:

“We are proud to present, with the support of Walsall Council and FREE of charge to the public, a spectacular, specially restored eighty-minute Technicolor film of Her Majesty’s Coronation, not shown in the Borough’s cinemas since 1953.  It will be shown on our 12 foot screen in High Definition using special projection equipment provided by the Forum. 

“And thanks to Bloxwich Library staff, library members will also enjoy free ‘tea with the Queen’ in the Bookmark Bloxwich Café before the film.  What a great way to celebrate the 60th year of Her Majesty’s reign!”

Tickets to the event are available FREE OF CHARGE at Bloxwich Library in Elmore Row – just show staff your Library Card to receive a Diamond Invite! If you are not a member, what better time to join the Library?

The show concludes at 3.30pm and Bloxwich Library closes at 4pm. For more information or to book, telephone Bloxwich Library on 01922 655900.

Get into the summertime groove at Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre!


 DC Fontana 2011

Bloxwich Library Forum has released the latest list of acts and events coming to Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre this summer, and there’s something for everyone – both in the way of live music and opportunities to join in and have a go yourself!

Apart from the regular and highly popular FREE Open Mic Nights – two each month, for youth and adults – there’s some great live music lined up.

Talented Black Country Prog Rockers ELIGH TOADD plus support are playing at the Bookmark (the 1964-built venue formerly known as Bloxwich Library Theatre) in July, with a gig on Saturday 7 July at 8pm.

For just a fiver, music-lovers can expect a heady blend of classic progressive rock covers together with the Toadd’s very own unique Black Country-themed prog anthems – not to be missed!

August sees a real highlight for Country Music fans in the Midlands as the legendary GEORGE HAMILTON IV treads the boards at Bloxwich for the first time ever with his Gospel Show on Saturday 4 August at 7.30pm.

This will be a rare treat since as far as we know Mr Hamilton has never been to Walsall in his long international career!  Again, tickets cost just £5.

And last but definitely not least, top exponents of Art & Soul and Sixties vibe DC FONTANA are returning to Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre with a new line-up to blow the roof off once again on Saturday 8 September from 8pm. 

A top night out full of great original material and sixties covers for only £5.

Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre, in Elmore Row, Bloxwich, is managed by Bloxwich Library Forum in partnership with Bloxwich Library.

For more information, including full details of the events listed and more, including Open Mic Nights, check out the Bloxwich Library Forum website.

Please telephone Bloxwich Library on 01922 655900 to book tickets.

Canadian star sings Country in Bloxwich this Saturday

Chuck Micallef - picture by Stuart Williams

Canadian singer songwriter Chuck Micallef will be bringing his own style of Country, Folk and Blues to  Bloxwich when he returns to play a gig in the town this weekend.

He is appearing at Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre with multi-instrumentalist Dave Luke and special guest Tony Barrett on Saturday 2nd June.

And he is relishing his return to popular Elmore Row venue formerly know as Bloxwich Library Theatre.

“I am looking forward to getting back onstage at the Bookmark – It’s a great room with a fabulous atmosphere,” he said.

The singer started writing songs for his own enjoyment at an early age before venturing out on to the stage at Thistletown Collegiate’s annual Variety Night.

At that time he was based in Rexdale in Northwest Toronto but eventually he made his way down town getting exposure at such venues as the legendary Riverboat CoffeeHouse, The Backyard Café, The
Backroom of Pizza Patio, and Free Times Café. He continued to perform at venues that presented acoustic-based Country, Folk and Blues music as he travelled across Canada to British Columbia.

In 1979 Chuck returned to Toronto and was accepted on to the Humber College Music Programme as a Vocal Major.  There he met Ron Dann (pedal steel player/arranger/producer) and 1983 saw the release of his first single Within You.  That first single was followed up by English Style Lovin’. His third release Loving You charted both in Canada and in the United States.

Stuart Williams of Bloxwich Library Forum, which manages the theatre in partnership with Bloxwich Library, said:

“For the past 15 years Chuck has resided in the UK, becoming a regular at Country Music clubs and festivals throughout the country as well as at Bookmark Bloxwich.  He was even asked by writer/director Chris Cook to record Man of Constant Sorrow for the film soundtrack of The Penalty King, an independently produced British feature film.  Cook also picked up Chuck’s self-penned The Moon The Stars and The Sun for another scene in the film.

“Since Chuck first performed at our venue he’s become a great friend of the Forum, helping organise our Live Music Review, and we’re only too delighted to have him take centre stage once again.

“Chuck is also bringing two other talented performers, Dave Luke and Tony Barrett, so music lovers are assured of a great night out in Bloxwich this Saturday!”

Doors open 8pm for 8.30pm start.

Tickets cost just £5, and booking is recommended.  Telephone Bloxwich Library on 01922 655900 to reserve.

Sherlock Holmes comes under the magnifying glass at Bloxwich theatre

Don't Go Into The Cellar

Sherlock Holmes is the most famous detective of all.  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional Victorian sleuth is legendary for his icy logic and inimitable powers of deduction, revealed in a series of remarkable stories, which form his literary ‘canon’ as well as being the basis of countless films and television series.

And now Sherlock fans in the Walsall area can see a fascinating and exciting new chapter of the Great Detective’s extraordinary life unfold up close and personal – live on stage at Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre in Elmore Row, Bloxwich on Saturday 24th March!

Stuart Williams of Bloxwich Library Forum said:

“‘Holmes Alone’ is an original play performed by ‘Don’t Go Into The Cellar!’ (pictured above), the UK’s only theatre company staging original adaptations of Victorian ghost and horror stories and Steampunk capers.

“It moves the story of the world’s first consulting detective forward almost to the beginning of the Great War, and sees Sherlock Holmes on the brink of retirement and without Dr Watson (who has had the audacity to get married – again!).

“However, a spate of mysterious deaths calls Holmes to the Sussex Coast, where Holmes must face one of the deadliest foes he has ever encountered…

“Meanwhile, the late Professor Moriarty’s right-hand man, Count Negretto Sylvius, plots to avenge his master’s death by bringing about the downfall of the Baker Street sleuth!”

This is a new Sherlock Holmes story with a twist, from a company with style, panache and a great sense of drama and fun, taking to the stage at the invitation of Bloxwich Library Forum – don’t miss it!

Holmes Alone
Holmes Alone poster

Doors open at 7pm, the play starts at 7.30pm with a 20-minute interval at 8.30pm, and concludes around 9.30pm.

Tickets costing £8, concessions £6, are available NOW from Bloxwich Library, Elmore Row, Bloxwich, Walsall, WS3 2HR.  Telephone 01922 655900 to reserve.

Don’t Go Into The Cellar! will return to Bloxwich in October – with Jekyll the Ripper!

Play inspired by Midlands deaf people will strike gold in Bloxwich

Gold Dust

Deafinitely Theatre, in conjunction with Black Country Touring and the Deaf Cultural Centre, is thrilled to be reviving its 2011 production of Gold Dust, written by Andrew Muir and based on the stories of the deaf community in the Black Country and Birmingham.  And now they’re being welcomed to Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre by Bloxwich Library Forum on 22 March.

Gold Dust began in 2010 as a joint project between Deafinitely Theatre and Black Country Touring (BCT) and the Deaf Cultural Centre; the challenge: to produce a play based on the real life experiences of deaf people in Dudley, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

This play is the culmination of this two-year collaboration during which drama workshops were held with local deaf community groups across the region to elicit stories, characters and ideas for the play. Gold Dust was specifically created out of personal memories of those local deaf people and in particular about the historic Birmingham Jewellery quarter.

This project has given local deaf people an opportunity to access a piece of theatre that is directly relevant to and inspired by their experience of living in Birmingham and the West Midlands.

This unique process was inspirational for writer, Andrew Muir. “There was a great sense of community around this project. We really got a feel for Birmingham deaf culture – everyone had stories to tell, all sorts of people, from people in their late teens to late 80s. From the workshops and interviews, one story in particular emerged about a deaf man who worked in the Jewellery Quarter and his relationship with his son and that’s what the play is based on. But throughout the process and from all the participants, I got an opportunity to truly understand what Birmingham used to be like and specifically how it was for deaf people.”

It’s clear that the work has resonated within the community.  Based on feedback received during the first run of the show, many audience members stated that Gold Dust was the first play they had seen.

“Gold Dust really has provided an opportunity for deaf people to enjoy and experience theatre where they would normally face exclusion,” says Paula Garfield, founder and artistic director of Deafinitely Theatre. “Importantly, this is a piece of theatre performed locally and specifically for the deaf community. Currently there is very little deaf theatre in the area and most deaf people have to travel out of the region, for example to London, to access professional theatre performance that speaks from a deaf perspective.”

Produced for the deaf, the piece is also fully accessible to hearing people – meaning the deaf community’s hearing friends, families and peers can share in the performance, further enhancing the community spirit in this production.

The production tours the Midlands from 22 March 2012 and arrives in London on 28 March 2012.

DOWNLOAD the Gold Dust poster for Bloxwich via the following link:

Gold Dust Poster

Full tour dates:

Thursday 22 March, doors open 7pm for 7.30pm start – Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre – for tickets costing JUST £2 telephone 01922 655900 or visit Bloxwich Library in Elmore Row.

Friday 23 March, 8pm – Arena Theatre 01902 321321 /

Saturday 24 March, 8.30pm – The Public 0121 533 7161 /

Wednesday 28 – Saturday 31 March, 7.30pm – Soho Theatre 0207 478 0100 /

Bloxwich gig just the tonic for charity this Saturday!

Red Venice rock Bloxwich!

Music from three live bands will be just the tonic for a Midland charity in Bloxwich this weekend.

Red Venice, Scarbelly Blues and Beechwood Blues Band will all be taking to the stage at Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre in Elmore Row on Saturday 18 February.

The gig will raise money for the Upper GI Blues Charity which is a support group for patients and carers who have been diagnosed with upper gastrointestinal disorders – primarily cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions of the gullet, stomach, pancreas and liver.

Red Venice will be getting the crowd going with classic rock covers while Scarbelly Blues will bring Black Country blues to Bloxwich and the Beechwood Blues Band will entertain with acoustic songs.

Doors open at 7.30pm and the show is set to start at 8pm.

Tickets cost £4 and £2 for children aged under 14.

Steve Smith, Red Venice bass player, said: “This is such a worthy cause so come along and rock Bookmark Bloxwich this weekend.”

The charity was the idea of two clinical nurse specialists, Jo Harvey and Tina Davies from Sandwell Hospital and was the first multi-diagnosis support group for UGI conditions in the country.

Charity chairman Brian Childs said:

“We hold a number of social and special fundraising events throughout the year.

“Since our group was started we have been able to provide over £150,000 worth of equipment and research funding to our local hospitals. This has included new endoscope equipment, electronic beds, electronic recliner chairs and specialist syringe drivers.”

For gig tickets please contact Bloxwich Library on 01922 655900.

DC Fontana provide stunning finish to Bookmark’s year

DC Fontana at Bookmark Theatre Bloxwich 18 Dec 2011

Saturday’s concert by top Mod band DC Fontana made a stunning and appropriate finish to what has been a varied and exciting first year for the Bookmark Theatre in Elmore Row, Bloxwich.

And although the audience was a little down on recent numbers, the amazing 1960s-infuenced eight-piece from the Midlands, who are in constant demand all over the UK and Europe, were only too pleased to bring their irrepressible, original and powerful mix of 1960s-style pop, northern soul, rock and psychedelia to the stage in what has become an important cultural centre for the Walsall borough once more.

The high energy band gave one of their best-ever performances, blowing the roof off the theatre and getting people on their feet dancing with everything from their own original and truly fab music to a range of top 60s classics delivered with all the quality and power of any of the top bands of that era.  The show concluded with an incredible version of Hush by Deep Purple, bringing a great night out to an unforgettable end.

Karla Milton of DC Fontana on stage at Bookmark Theatre
Karla Milton of DC Fontana on stage at Bookmark Theatre

Refurbished and re-launched by Walsall Council at the end of 2010 as part of the re-dubbed ‘Bookmark Bloxwich’ complex which also includes Bloxwich Library, the venue formerly known as Bloxwich Library Theatre has been given a new lease of life under the management of local volunteer group Bloxwich Library Forum, which books and presents the majority of evening events in partnership with Bloxwich Library.  The forum, which fundraises for the theatre as well as deciding the programme, works closely with library staff and with highly-skilled resident theatre technician and multimedia guru Bruno Edwards, who manages the facilities there.

And in the twelve months since the re-launch of the theatre there has been more activity and excitement to be had in the 1964 building than has been seen in many years.  Plays, a varied range of live music, panto, dance, poetry, open mic nights, charity events, literature and films have all featured, as well as community activities, seminars, meetings, lectures and extensive use by Bloxwich Library during the day.

DC Fontana at Bookmark Theatre
DC Fontana at Bookmark Theatre

The rebuild opened up the space between the theatre and the library, enabling the creation of a bar and a much more versatile and customisable space than before; the theatre can now be used in theatre/cinema mode, as well as night club and conference modes, with powered raked seating that slides out of the rear wall as well traditional tables and chairs.

Bloxwich Library Forum, which reconvenes in January, is already planning an even more varied programme of high quality events for 2012 – including the re-launch of the Bloxwich Film Society, first seen in 1964, when the theatre was equipped with 16mm film projection equipment. The revived group, working as an offshoot of the Forum, will launch in February and in the first year will offer a range of iconic films from the 1960s and 70s (to celebrate the origins of the building) projected in large-screen high definition video.

Bloxwich Library Forum will be launching a WordPress blog for Bookmark Theatre early in the new year.  Watch this space for further news!

For more on DC Fontana check out their website.

Pictures by Stuart Williams – more available via this link.